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Badminton: India’s Parupalli roars to Commonwealth Games gold

India No. 1 Kashpay Parupalli beat Singapore No. 1 Derek Wong 21-14, 11-21, 21-19 to succeed Lee Chong Wei as the Commonwealth Games men’s singles champion. Photos: AFP.

India No. 1 Kashpay Parupalli beat Singapore No. 1 Derek Wong 21-14, 11-21, 21-19 to succeed Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei as the Commonwealth Games men’s singles champion. Photos: AFP.

August 4, 2014: India’s Kashpay Parupalli succeeded World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei as the Commonwealth Games men’s singles champion after beating Singapore’s Derek Wong Zi Liang 21-14, 11-21, 21-19 in a dramatic final at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.

 

With two-time champion Lee missing the event with injury, Parupalli seized his opportunity, with the quiet man revealing the animal within after a gripping final. After securing match point with a drop shot, the India No. 1 leapt into the air, ripped off his shirt and roared like the king of the jungle before rushing into the open arms of his coaches. The relief and delight were evident as a broad smile stretched across the face of the World No. 22, usually a subdued personality.

 

The tense battle could have gone either way after many ebbs and flows through the three games. Having seized the first, the 27-year-old Parupalli lost focus as Wong, Singapore No. 1 and World No. 40, became more assertive and forced a decider.

 

Wong pulled away to 12-8 in the third and appeared on course to etch a historic milestone for Singapore, but Parupalli battled back, eventually eking out the last two points after his 25-year-old opponent staged a late fightback from 19-16 down to 19-19.

 

In the women’s singles, Hong Kong-born Michelle Li crushed young Scottish hope Kirsty Gilmour 21-14, 21-7 with a near-flawless performance to claim a first Commonwealth Games women’s singles crown for Canada. Like Lee Chong Wei, India No. 1 Saina Nehwal was unable to defend her singles title due to injury.

 

Malaysia celebrated a seventh consecutive Commonwealth Games men’s doubles title after Wei Shem Goh (foreground) and Wee Kiong Tan beat Singapore’s Danny Chrisnanta and Chayut Triyachart.

Malaysia celebrated a seventh consecutive Commonwealth Games men’s doubles title after Wei Shem Goh (foreground) and Wee Kiong Tan beat Singapore’s Danny Chrisnanta and Chayut Triyachart.

Malaysia won both the men’s and women’s doubles titles. The blossoming pair of Tan Wee Kiong and Goh V Shem captured their country’s seventh consecutive Commonwealth Games men’s doubles title by overcoming Singapore’s Danny Chrisnanta and Chayut Triyachart 21-12, 12-21, 21-15.

 

Having cruised through the opening game in 11 minutes, with Goh hammering his trademark smashes from the back and Tan alert at net, the Malaysians seemed to lose concentration in the second game while their rivals responded swiftly to even the score before the eventual champions dominated the decider.

 

Vivian Hoo, 24, and Woon Khe Wei, 25, earlier won the women’s doubles by beating India’s Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa 21-17, 23-21 after saving five game points from 20-16 down in the second.

 

Woon Khe Wei and Vivian Hoo won Malaysia’s first doubles title by beating 2010 champions Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa of India.

Malaysia’s Woon Khe Wei (left) and Vivian Hoo won the women’s doubles by beating 2010 champions Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa of India.

Gutta, 30, and Ponnappa, 24, were bidding to retain the title they won on home turf in Delhi in 2010. However, the Indian pair were left shell-shocked after failing to force a third game as Hoo and Woon saved the game with great defence and anticipation, fighting back to 20-20 and saving another game point before closing out the match.

 

England’s Chris and Gabrielle Adcock became the first husband-and-wife pair to savour Commonwealth Games gold in badminton by beating teammates Chris Langridge and Heather Olver 21-9 21-12 in the day’s first final.

 

Source: BWF (www.bwfbadminton.org); Editing by SportAsia

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